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Martha and Mary



Gospel Reading: Lk 10:38-42


JESUS entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.” The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”


REFLECTIONS: The better part

When guests drop by for a home visit, they are not there to admire the beauty of the surroundings, to get updated on the newest fam­ily acquisitions, or to par­take of free and delicious food. They are there more to enjoy the company of the hosts and to exchange pleasantries, even small talks. A guest is served bet­ter by an attentive ear than by busy hands.

Jesus is certainly appre­ciative of Martha for being busy with the serving. She wants to be the perfect host for the Master. But in the pro­cess, she becomes anxious and even touchy with her sis­ter Mary who seems to be oc­cupied only with listening to Jesus. Jesus gently reminds Martha that he visits them not to be served but to serve, by bringing the word of God to them. By listening to him, the “unconcerned” Mary has chosen the better part.

Following the parable of the Good Samaritan, Luke bal­ances the “active service” of the Samaritan with the “at­tentive listening” of Mary. Both narratives underline the blessedness of listening to God’s word and putting it into practice.

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2017” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.